Which side of me will win?

Metalcamp 2011: What’s the difference between a mastodon and a mammoth?

So, I’ve dropped my possessed hat off at my tent and had a little chat with Croatian Guy. I reckon I must’ve had a beer and/or something to eat too. I don’t really remember, but I must have been a while for some reason because by the time I rejoin Ash and Nina, Wintersun are nearly finished. Good job too, they’re crap.

Not really, really crap you understand, just boring and mediocre. It’s a bit of a mystery to everyone how they’ve even got the headline slot tonight. They’re not very well known and aren’t even billed that high on the festival’s promotional materials, yet they get a prime slot on the main stage. Metalcamp doesn’t really let bands’ egos influence running order as much as other festivals, I guess.

As they’re finishing up I heckle them. They can’t hear me, but people nearby can and many seem to be nodding and clapping in agreement with my appraisal (I think they are, but then I do let my ego influence the telling of these stories). I’m shouting things like,




Being a bit of an arsehole, basically. But in what I’d like to think of as a fun way.

After that, more drinking probably. I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to everything. Nina didn’t stick around for Mastodon, but myself and Ash did. They’re a bit of an odd fit for Metalcamp, are Mastodon. The bill is largely dominated by traditional metal sub-genres performed mostly be European bands. Mastodon are American and have a very unique sound. They’re the one band that friends at home were envious that we’d be seeing (well, them and Slayer), but they don’t pull in that big a crowd here.

The other odd thing about Mastodon is that I can’t really get into them. On paper they’re everything I like in a band, and I can see a lot of common ground in what they do with bands I am really into, in particular Earthtone9. But if they’re ever going to grab me, it’s going to be at Metalcamp, and they just don’t. The great thing about music is how you can get swept up in it without being able to put your finger on why, but it works the other way around too. I appreciated their set, but it left me pretty cold. Sorry Mastodon. I guess it just wasn’t to be.

In case it isn’t obvious, my memory of events is starting to get quite fuzzy now after a remarkably clear and vivid start. I remember there was more drinking after Mastodon though, and Bad Ash finally got himself in a spot of bother at the beach bar. More on that next time.

The answer, by the way, is that mastodons were browsers whereas mammoths were grazers. That clears that one up, then.


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